Last Chance To Turn in Ballots; City Council Meeting; Unrest Concerns; COVID-19 Woes

Last Chance To Turn in Ballots

Today is the last day to turn in your ballots.  Here in Florence there are two council seats and the mayoral seat up for grabs with Mayor Joe Henry looking to continue his tenure and local business woman, Jo Beaudreau looking to upset the incumbent.  There has been a lot of attention drawn to this race after a recent series of article in the Siuslaw News attempting to shed a light on what it saw as extreme partisanship in what is normally considered a non-partisan entity.  The mayor’s race and the council races have been without the controversy that plagued the last election.  Councilman Greene and Councilman Priesler declined to seek reelection and Councilwoman Prociw resigned her seat this summer.  After the new council is seated there will be a new councilor appointed to replace the seat vacated by Prociw.  The current councilors and mayor Henry decided to wait  until January as there will be at least two new members and a possible change in the Mayor’s seat and all agreed that the new council should select the final position.  Election ballots are due by 8 pm this evening at the drop site at the Florence Justice Center.

City Council Meeting

Last night at the Florence City Council Meeting the city of Florence was recognized officially by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA.  The Urban Forestry Program at the Oregon Department of Forestry administers the proclamation for the state of Oregon.  The City council also recognized the 50th anniversary of the Exploding Whale with a proclamation.  It was 50 years ago November 9th of the event that captured attention of the country on the Florence Beach and ultimately led to the naming of the latest city park as the Exploding Whale Park.  The city also approved a Oregon Cultural CARES Act grant of $12,317 to support the Florence Events Center during the pandemic.  And the city also approved a proposal to award Ray Wells incorporated the job of finishing concrete work at the public works facility for equipment storage in the amount of $88,063.  This is for the foundational work only with the building costing an additional $34,000.  Public Works Director Mike Miller says the storage is necessary to protect critical equipment from the harsh Florence climate.  And the council also approved monies for the new AWOS system at the Florence Municipal Airport.

Unrest Concerns

With today being election day, Florence City manager Erin Reynolds reported to the city council that while there may be some sense of unrest associated with the election this year the Florence Police Department along with other county and state agencies are monitoring the situation and are encouraging people not to respond to rumors but to be diligent if they are aware of any concerns.  Citizens are encouraged to report concerns to the Florence Police.

“We don’t want to become victims of an unnecessary scare, but we also want to be sure we are prepared and ready to address any concerns that our community might have.”

Reynolds says there have been no specific issues of which she is aware.

COVID-19 Woes

Another 557 cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the Oregon Health Authority yesterday and includes another 12 for Lane County.  There are no new cases reported for the Florence area.  Multnomah County experienced a record number of cases in a single day with 199 and there was also one death reported for Multnomah County.  State totals are now at 45,978 with 692 deaths and Lane County is at 2,607.